The Old American West was a place where a man could spend a month’s pay in a day—a phrase that rings even more true in today’s age of hard drugs and persuasive speedboat salesmen. It was a place where hog stealing was a lifestyle choice and not just an activity for weekends and vacations. It was a simpler time then. A time where the currency of the day was violence, racism, and alcoholism, a currency the “authentic” western steakhouse did not accept as my down payment for the reception after my cowboy wedding.
It’s appropriate when you think about it. With our relationship being built on the solid bedrock of grain alcohol, gambling, and deceiving Native Americans, what would be more fitting than to celebrate our love than a cowboy themed wedding?
Our long-term commitment runs deep; much like a cattle drive. By that I mean we’ve eaten nothing but dried beef for months at a time and we’ve both contracted Typhoid at least once. Further, and in my indomitable spirit of full disclosure, we’ve both put on some heifer-weight mostly due to our perpetual grazing while inside the friendly confines of Golden Corral.
I know we’ve already booked a guide for our honeymoon to walk us down the Trail of Tears, but if we can find a real cattle drive happening, well, I might just have to send that reservation, pun-intended, down the Trail of Tears—Andrew Jackson style! A full fortnight of cattle driving; how awesome would that be? Wrangling, prodding, and branding all day—it’ll be like the three weeks I spent as a gym teacher. Plus, nothing beats capping off a full day of poking cows as a cowpoke than spending a passion filled night cowpoking the new Mrs. Justin Gawel.
The honeymoon plans can wait, I suppose, the ceremony and reception are more pressing matters. The only think I can say for definite is that we’re going to need a good amount of live ammunition and salted meats to get us all through both. I’ll be sure to book a blind, Negro piano player, because, you know, I guess I’m just cliché that way. Hopefully Stevie Wonder’s assistant will get back to me soon.
I don’t think we’ll serve communion at the service, but we will just perpetually passing around trays filled with assorted barbecue-sauce infused whiskies. If you want to imagine those as the blood of a much cooler, cowboy version of Jesus then, by all means, go right ahead.
Graciously, our good friend Mike has lent us the use of his new servant for any odds and ends around the wedding service. The servant man is a hard-working Cherokee, fresh off the reservation at the ripe age of seventy-six, and has agreed to work at Mike’s house in exchange for room, board, and grain alcohol. Lucky for us he’s clinically depressed, so he fits the criteria for our something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
We’ll keep the vows simple—probably just a statement or two about supporting the Second Amendment and a promise to defend each other from bandits, loose women, and rogue cattle and that’ll be it. The service will end with us branding a cow with each other’s initials before processing out to the sounds of our favorite jug band. From there we will board our oxen-driven, covered wagon and embark down the trail where we will hunt at least twice, ford at a river, and, hopefully, arrive at the steakhouse still alive and, fingers-crossed, dysentery-free.
The staff at the reception steakhouse has assured me that we’ll be getting the complete package: a platter of steaks, a trough of gravy, and a trough of whiskey. I suppose they’ll have water there too, but if anyone needs anything more than that they can spend their own Confederate dollars on it. Frankly, if you need anything more than meat, alcohol, and gravy to have fun you’re probably doing something wrong.
After dinner our guests would eat their dessert steaks before we all turned to the dance floor to swing our sexual-partners to the styles and sounds of the finest eight-piece washboard and harmonica band in the county. We’d cut rugs into the night, stopping only for the more-than-occasional drink from the whiskey trough or to swindle any member of the Native American wait staff into trading us their family’s land rights in exchange for some “spiritual” beads off of the crappy art projects our children had made.
Saddle up, partner, we’re having a western wedding.